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Can You Use Pell Grant with Tuition Assistance?

July 6, 2012

The Federal Pell Grant is available for independent and dependent students who have a financial need when going to an accredited college or university. The Pell Grant covers most tuition but is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are receiving tuition assistance through the military, then you can also sign up to receive the Pell Grant as well as other grants to maximize your financial aid for school. If you have never gotten the Pell Grant before or signed up for financial aid, you have to create an account on and fill out a FAFSA form, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Getting the Pell Grant

Whether you are receiving a GI Bill or are enrolled in the Tuition Assistance program, you can also fill out a FAFSA and potentially qualify for a Pell Grant. Anyone can file a FAFSA and apply for the Pell Grant, as well as the FSEOG grant, SMART grant, student loans and work-study programs. All of these can help you maximize your college financial aid programs.

How Aid Applies to Your Tuition

If you are approved to receive tuition assistance and a Pell Grant, your Pell Grant will first apply to your tuition balance and then Tuition Assistance will pay for the rest, including any leftover fees. Tuition Assistance provides financial aid for active members, veterans and family members of service members. This is a predetermined amount of aid that depends on your military branch, time length of service and other factors, such as how you were discharged if you are a veteran.

How Dependents Can Use TA and Pell Grant

There are some parts of the GI Bill like Chapter 35 for Survivors and Dependents Assistance that will pay both Pell Grant and non-Pell Grant recipients a monthly stipend to cover tuition and other expenses. If the recipient also receives a Pell Grant, the stipend may be used to pay the remainder of the school account balance or for other expenses, such as housing or school supplies.

How Taxes Work

You don't have to pay any taxes on Pell Grant as long as you use it towards school expenses. You do have to state whether or not you receive financial aid and how much you received for financial aid on your tax forms however. As long as you can prove that you've paid your expenses with Pell Grant funds, you don't have to worry about receiving any audits for using financial aid on your other expenses.

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